Halo 3: ODST Review

By on September 20, 2009

Love it or hate it, we have a new Halo on our hands, but does it add something new to the series?

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First Impressions
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There is no doubt about it, without Halo, the Xbox as a brand would have been a whole lot less prolific. Back in the days when almost every house on the planet had a Playstation or a Playstation 2, Halo brought gamers closer to the Xbox. With its fantastic graphics, story and a kickass protagonist, little was wrong with the game. Along came the 2nd Halo helping push the Xbox profile even further. And as the next generation of consoles kicked off, the 3rd Halo again had a big say, effecting sales of the whole system and helping the Xbox 360 move more consoles than the mighty Wii…for a few months at least. Many people complained about the 3rd installment in the series. Some said the graphics wasn’t up to par, other said the story was too short and offered little in originality but regardless of what was said, the game sold extremely well and millions of hours were logged in around the world online. It was just the right explosion the Xbox needed. Now, with a slightly less subdued launch, we have Halo 3: ODST, a multiplayer inclined expansion that adds in a short campaign and a whole lot of online action. Love it or hate it, we have a new Halo on our hands, and a Halo that certainly adds something to the series.


Bungie had already warned us that the campaign was not going to consume a whole lot of our time. At max, the single player will last about five hours tops. The main character, or the ‘hero’ if you may, is a rookie on the ODST squad. The Covenant are at it again, this time going after earth itself and targeting a specific city in Africa. The mission is to extract crucial information from right under the city but as soon as the team scatters and losses track during the landing, the main mission turns into a “get the hell out of here” quite quickly. When most of the team do manage to get back together and plan an escape, they go back instead to help the captain extract the data. Sadly the game will end right when the excitement and action starts unfolding and we would have loved an extra mission or two at the end to conclude the story on a good note.

The story itself is not bad at all. You will spend nearly half of the game exploring the city looking for clues and trying to find the rest of the team. Each clue you find will trigger a cut scene and will show you what happened in that specific area after the landing. The other part of the game will put you in the shoes of the rest of the team. You will actually follow each character from their perspective, from the moment they land in the city up until the team is reunited towards the end. The story does have a load of twists and emotions attached to it. And at the end of the day, and despite being generally short overall, it has quality written all over it.


So how does this thing play? Like Halo, of course. Experienced Halo players will feel right at home with the controls. The old weapons are also back with one or two new additions to the already solid arsenal of weapons. You will also spend a considerable amount of time in the campaign controlling vehicles. And luckily, all of them control great.

The most disappointing thing you will face while driving or riding them vehicles is the supporting AI. God forbid, you actually let them drive; they will manage to make a total mess out of it nearly every single time. During one of the levels, the AI drove us right into a massive fight, parked the hog and just stood there. At one point the AI got so frustrating we decided to do both the driving and shooting with one player. Drove to the point we want, got out, kicked ass and drove again. Talk about frustration!


The game puts you against some of the same old enemies we have seen before in the series. ODST does introduce a smarter set of enemies this time around though. While in a fight, you will notice how the enemy is setup in a smart way, they do not just run at you trying to bring you down while you take cover. Instead, the AI will send one or two units to get you out of cover THEN attack you. If that did not manage to impress you, wait until a group of enemies flank you and surprise you from behind during a battle. While we were impressed watching them do that, we weren’t exactly happy having to restart from the last checkpoint. Winning fight after fight we did notice how luck plays a major part in this campaign. During some fights you will come in loaded with weapons and grenades, winning the fight before it even starts. During other fights however, you will walk in with no ammo at all. And this is where skill, patience and a ton of luck play a big part. At times we found that running away works best when out of ammo. Instead of fighting our away through, we blindly ran the hell out of the area. And believe it or not, that worked a few times.

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The Scorecard
Same old Halo, nearly nothing new in the gameplay department.
Improved compared to Halo 3, but still requires some work
Great sound track and some memorable voice overs.
Short story but a load of other bonuses to enjoy.
MP is the core of this game; make sure you have plenty of friends before acquiring this one.
People might enjoy this game more if they stop overhyping it. ODST is a great game that is NOT meant to be a sequel but at the end of the day will still be judged as one.


I love my Sports games. Throw me on an Island with the newest FIFA, Football Manager and NBA 2K and i will live forever. Follow me on Twitter (@RabieA11) for updates or on the PSN and XBL (Rabie1).

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    BEST GAME EVR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!History in the MAKING!!!

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